I loathe the word influencer.
I dislike the presumptuousness of many of those (not all) who call themselves influencers, and the expectant entitled nature of so many who believe that because they have a few thousand followers (sometimes fewer) that they are automatically influencers. Followers do not equal free stuff.
Pictured: What I think when I hear “influencer”
I know being an influencer is a thing, and I realize the core idea of it is genius. Who is a better person to introduce or sell your products than a person known for using that genre of products well? Shaq pumping iron in a car insurance commercial doesn’t entice me to purchase my insurance from The General. Jamie Lee Curtis telling me her Activia yogurt will make me poop my brains out doesn’t make me believe it will. But, yes, seeing some amazing makeup artist telling me that her blinding highlight is a combination of these three products will absolutely make me check out those three products.
Why am I not an influencer? Because I’m just me. I’m a makeup obsessed person who just so happens to take decent photos and product shots, who uses lots of color, and occasionally will make someone spit out their coffee/champagne with a funny one liner (or seven paragraph essay).
Or this face
Yes, I have a good-sized following. At some point in their instagram lives, around 22,000 people have decided to follow me. Like the rest of you and your makeup accounts, the vast majority of those people are either no longer active or don’t see my account because of instagram and its ridiculous algorithm. But all of you, are my favorite humans on the planet. It is my life’s pleasure to chat with you in my comment sections, in your comment sections and even by DM and Text. Your love, support, and friendship is something I cherish in the cheesiest of ways -and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. You’re not a number I am selling to makeup companies to convince them to send me stuff. You’re a person. An awesome person for whom I have tons of luvvvvv.
Yes, you may have purchased a product because I told you I love it. You may have also purchased a product because I told you I hate it, but you liked how it looked on my silly face anyway. Yes, I understand that my using of the product and introducing it to you “influenced” you in this case.
STILL NOT AN INFLUENCER.
Thanks, Laura, for letting me copy your GIF
I am a lucky flucking duck to be in the position I am. To be able to NOT call myself an influencer, despite meeting a few of the criteria. I get TONS of free products to try out and introduce to you. I’ve even been paid (exactly 2 times) to promote products or brands, like that one Coastal Scents Sale where I had to post 18,000 stories telling you all about it. $75 BTW. (I promise, I’m not rolling in it) I also love coastal scents hot pots and their brush sets – they’re not the most amazing quality products, but they sure as crap are great for the price you pay.
That Matcha tea I was obsessed with for a while? $50 for a single post – but I freaking love that stuff and all those stories I posted were not sponsored, paid, or even asked for. I legitimately became obsessed and couldn’t stop myself from using that damn Matcha emoji.
Not Pictured: The giant Ninja Turtles mug I actually use to drink this stuff.
I also get gift cards from time to time from Octoly – when I win the fun posting contests for reviewing products. It’s not a direct payment for reviewing/sharing, but it is a monetary incentive to use the service. Not that I need $$ to get free makeup and to share it with you guys. Seriously. Haha.
When I was at StyleCon with my girl Stefani from Heroes Beauty, I saw girls coming up to the booth, announcing that they were influencers and asking what she could give them, or what they have to give away to influencers. Even just remembering this makes me sick to my stomach. I know they say you get 0% of what you don’t ask for – but there’s a better way to go about working with a brand. Offer your contact information – and let them know you’d love to collaborate with them in the future if they are interested. Don’t just ask what being an influencer gets you. You sound like a petulant child.
I have initiated first contact with a company exactly once in my time in the instagram/blogging world, and it was one of the most uncomfortable things I’ve ever done, and I haven’t done it since. I was, “pressured” by a fellow instagrammer to reach out, and was playfully threatened with violence if I did not reach out. I made sure to mention this threat – and we all had a great laugh. Many months later, Morphe Brushes sent me the most ridiculous care package I have ever received.
Yes, it turned out well and in my favor – but I am still a little ashamed of myself for asking, and feel like I didn’t really “earn” it. (Yes, I know they could have said HELL NOOOOOO) The feeling I get when a brand reaches out to me because they’ve discovered me on instagram and they like my content so much that they are willing to send me products to try out and share with you guys is incomprehensible. The gratitude I feel for each and every one of you hanging around and liking my photos/commenting on them and sharing my account is immeasurable. Without you – I would not have gotten my first PR package, without you, I would never get another one.
So thanks guys, for allowing me to NOT be an influencer. Thanks for being my friend. XO